Thursday, 17 July 2008

QLD Premier intervenes

The bid to retain the historic Yacht Club on the Cairns waterfront has caused the Queensland Premier to ask some serious questions overnight.
Premier Anna Bligh has this morning instructed the Minister for Sustainability, Hon Andrew McNamara, whose portfolio encompasses the Heritage Council, to urgently review the decision by the Port Authority to remove the old building.
With the looming demolition by the Ports Authority, scheduled for late September, the community have yet again voiced their anger and strong opposition. The campaign has been going on for the last five years, yet many of those that started the fight, have still not given up.
“The battle to save the Old Yacht Club Building in Cairns is definitely not a foregone conclusion”, says Wendy Richardson, Coordinator of PADYC (People Against Demolishing the Yacht Club).

“I have been advised today that, after receiving our group’s letter, The Premier has requested that the issue of the building be elevated, as a matter of urgency to the office of the Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation, the Hon Andrew McNamara.”

For the Premier to request her Minister to look at this issue at this late hour, just weeks before the Port Authority's vandalism, shows how serious the Government now views the impact the impending demolition will have of the community and the State Labour Party.
It would be difficult to find another historic property in northern Queensland, which so much social history that connect to our colonial past.
“We are very pleased that our members of Parliament are taking our concerns very seriously and are considering the issue in depth. We believe there has been considerable misinformation about the building, and the whole situation, and it is now time it was all properly considered,” says Wendy Richardson from the Cairns Show stand where they are collecting signatures in support of the building's retention.

“Just yesterday over a thousand people signed our petition asking the government to save the building and that was only the first day!," said Wendy Richardson. "People are actually seeking us out to sign the petition.”
“Our group takes great issue with local of Parliament Desley Boyle’s assertions that the building has failed twice to gain crucial listing with the Queensland Heritage Council – a move which would almost certainly have saved it.”

The first time it failed, the Northern Branch of the National Trust made the application, but realised after the event that they had not included enough information. A new application was then made and the building was given a Provisional Listing, which is the first step, by a majority vote of the Heritage Council.
At this time the Chairman of the Heritage Council, Professor John Brannock, Head of the School of Geography Planning and Architecture at the University of Queensland, declared that “the demolition of the Cairns Yacht Club would be a "terrible loss to the city and would reduce the social and cultural value of its waterfront irreparably." (Cairns Post 19 May 2003)

In fact, Professor Brannock said there would have to be "quite serious factors" put up by the Cairns Port Authority - the only objector to heritage listing of the then 85-year-old landmark - to make the Heritage Council change its mind.”
The Queensland Heritage Council’s own paid, expert Heritage Consultant Michael Kennedy, also assessed the building and made a report in which his decision was to list the Building under a section of the relevant Act.
The Queensland Heritage Trust subsequently had a split vote on the matter (the two Far North Queensland representatives who supported it were unable to vote) with Professor Brannock making the very surprising move of using his casting vote to vote against the listing. Within days, the Cairns Port Authority obtained a Certificate of Immunity preventing any further applications for listing for five years, namely August 2009.

The general public has never been able to understand the reason for this dramatic reversal of opinion and PADYC certainly do not accept that the building should not have been listed.

"We will do everything in our power to save this piece of our heritage,” says Wendy Richardson.

MORE INFO
Visit the display at the Cairns Show, Fred Moule Pavilion
Click on the link on the right paper version of the petition
Contact PADYC on 4034 2248 or 0418 196 011

3 comments:

Thersites said...

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,24036704-952,00.html

If the report in today's Courier Mail is accurate Anna would appear to have had her own snout in the developer trough?

I believe Anna was also on the CPA board during her years as treasurer sycophant to media tart Beattie?

Bryan Law said...

Thersites, no, Anna Bligh was not on the CPA Board. As treasurer she was one of two share-holding owners of the CPA.

If you want to criticise her, focus on the direction those owners gave the Board which was a very simple command - "make money".

In relation to Cityport the CPA is itself a developer, busy making money. If you ask me, there's more to life than money. What's your view?

Thersites said...

Bryan I am happy to accept your definitions if it achieves concensus in unusual places.

But lets face it .... the Bligh snout is deeply in this trough and no amount of fanciful belief by the faithful will allevaite that?

I have a close associate deeply involved with the local ALP who has confirmed that indeed there is an anti-democratic pact among the previously "moral left" (sic) not to respond in forums such as this?

And hey Bryan .... can we get an update on your opinion of Gavin King given that he seems to have been repsonsible for most of your NT coverage with mutual arselicking and claims of conspiracy theories by News? Google lagging out with time there .....

Mate .... some of us are more discrete in the company we keep!!